If I wanted to turn my basement into the mecca of hockey training, I would start with dumbbells, the best stability ball I could find and some resistance bands. Then I would think of adding either a barbell and power rack or a slideboard. As much as I love my power rack, I think I would probably go for the slideboard.
The slideboard is a very versatile training tool. You get dynamic stabilization training of the groins, you get muscular endurance work as you practice striding with a low stance, you get energy system training as you do your intervals AND you can practice your butterfly slides and lateral pushes from the ½ butterfly position. Add to that limitless opportunities to add read and respond drills to each of those variables and you have a lot of bang for your buck!
I can hear you – “Aren’t slideboards like $1000 bucks?” No, actually they are not. I use the 10-foot UltraSlide board which I think is about $570-600. I have had it in the gym getting daily use for years and it is still in great shape.
When I first started out I had one of the roll up slideboards which I really liked (the price point on those is quite a bit lower as well), but when I started working with pro players who had such powerful strides they could push the end-stops right off the board, so I stopped using them all together. That was several years ago so perhaps they have changed the attachment mechanism by now.
To keep your slideboard in shape just get some Pledge, spray it on and wipe it off a few times every week and you will be slip sliding your way to stopping more pucks.
When I get goalies on the slideboard for the first time, I see some bad habits creep in so here are a few technique tips for using the slideboard:
- Think about your arms – do not have them flying all over the place. Hold your stick and keep your glove hand in position.
- Think about your shoulders. Are you turning or rolling your shoulders side to side or staying square?
- Bend your knees. I see too many goalies and skaters stand up in the legs and flex forward at the hips or back when they get on the slideboard. Get low in the hips and knees, keep your chest up and shoulders back to practice that ‘big’ posture.
- Get a full push each time. Don’t do half a push to get from side to side. There may be times when you want to do some very short response strides, but when you are doing energy system intervals, for example, make sure you are getting a full push each way.
Here is a complete Slideboard Circuit for Goalies video that I put together for you!
Maria Mountain is the strength and conditioning coach to Olympic, World and Stanley Cup Champions. She specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. Visit www.GoalieTrainingPro.com to learn more or click here for your free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Durable and Flexible Hips for Goalies